Côte d'Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is located in western Africa with a coastline of about 55 kilometers long and a land area of around 322,000 square kilometers. It is a main transportation hub on the west coast of Africa and the trade center, financial center and shipping center of West Africa with fertile lands, abundant products, favorable geographical location and sound infrastructure. Based on its important geographical location and the unique lagoon landform, Côte d'Ivoire enjoys advantageous natural conditions for the construction of deep-water terminals, which facilitates the maritime trade. Côte d'Ivoire is rich in mineral resources such as iron, nickel, bauxite, manganese, diamonds, gold, oil and natural gas, and forest and fishery resources, which lay a solid foundation for economic development.
Côte d’Ivoire is the third largest timber exporter in Africa with its forestry playing an important role in the national economy. Besides, it has the largest tuna export port in West Africa with an annual export volume of about 400,000 tons. Côte d’Ivoire, home to about 24.2947 million people, is administratively organized into 14 districts, which are further divided into 31 regions and 107 departments. Its economic capital Abidjan, home to 4.86 million people, lies on the Atlantic coast along the Gulf of Guinea. Known as the “Little Paris” in the West Africa, Abidjan is the second largest port in Africa and an important seaport for West African inland countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, which speaks for its strategic and economic importance. Besides, the political capital Yamoussoukro has a population of about 970,000. As a multi-ethnicity country, Côte d’Ivoire has 69 ethnic groups, usually classified into 4 principal divisions, the Akan, the Krou, the Mandes, and the Voltaiques. The official language of Côte d’Ivoire is French and the lingua franca of most area is the Dyula language.